A customer received a much higher bill than promised by a door-to-door marketer (May 2014)

Getting connected and changing energy company, Trouble paying a bill, Debt collection and credit default listings
Case Number 2014/1312
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

The customer had door-to-door marketer from an energy retailer attend her property in early 2013. The marketers used the customer’s bills to complete some calculations and advised the customer that her bills would be ‘significantly reduced’ by switching to their service. Based on this information, the customer agreed to a transfer.

Soon after, she received the first gas bill and it was much higher than that of the same period in the previous year, even though she had used about 10,000 less mega Joules of gas. She contacted her retailer about this and it advised that nothing could be done. The account balance was then referred to a debt collection agency even though she had a two-month payment extension in place.

Dissatisfied about the retailer's response, she contacted EWOV on 8 January 2014 and an Assisted Referral was raised. She was contacted by the retailer but was again not satisfied with its response. The customer re-contacted EWOV and the complaint was then handled as an Investigation on 24 January 2014.

EWOV liaised between the customer and the retailer to investigate the circumstances surrounding the marketing activity, transfer, debt collection process and a payment arrangement.

The Outcome

Following EWOV’s investigation, the retailer apologised for the inconvenience experienced and withdrew the debt collection activity.

In recognition of the inconvenience and the missed prompt payment discounts, the retailer also applied credits totaling $201.13 to the customer’s account.

Although the customer had already arranged for her energy account to be transferred by another retailer, a payment extension was also granted on the remaining debt for the account balance of $332.10.

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